A charity gate jumping competition – inspired by a wager laid down by a 19th century Marquis – is new to the schedule for this year’s Taunton Vale team chase.

The competition will take place in the arena before the open class at Pontispool this Sunday (18 March).

It is a reincarnation of Henry Beresford, Marquis of Waterford’s bet that a horse could jump a five bar gate across the dining room at Lowesby Hall in 1838.

Funds raised from the competition will go towards Orchard Male Cancer Charity.

“The gate jumping competition should be great fun to watch and we’re delighted it’s for such a worthwhile cause,” said Taunton Vale joint-master and Pontispool proprietor Richard Mitford-Slade.

The open class for the gate jumping will start at 3’3″ with £250 up for grabs for the winner.

The team chase classes feature the open qualifier, with fences at a minimum height of 3’7″, an intermediate class with fences no higher than 3’7″ and a 2’9″ fun class.

Mr Mitford-Slade added: “The open course looks set to attract some of the best teams in the country, while the novice and intermediate courses will be perfect for local riders wanting to taste the thrill of team chasing.”

Entries close on 13 March and can be made by calling Pontispool on 01823 461196.